When building a stockpile the first thing you want to do before you get started is figure out how much your family uses. This will help you determine how much you need to buy to fill your stockpile. You’ll also want to think about how many months worth of supplies to you want to store. This will depend on your purpose for building a stockpile. You’ll need to determine how large a supply you want to have on hand. Do you want to have 3 months worth of groceries? 6 months? A year?
Each families goal will be different based on family size and the time frame in which they’d like their stockpile to last. To get started determining your stockpile needs, think about the foods you eat in a months time. The easiest way to figure this out is to look back at your previous menus.In your menus you’ll find a recurring theme. Let’s take a look at a single item to see how we are to determine our families needs. We will use Family A, as an example.
Example #1: Looking at Family A’s previous months menu they cooked rice on an average of four times a week. The family is using on average 5 lbs. of rice per month. If you want a six month supply on hand you’ll need to buy (6) 5lb. bags of rice.
Example #2: Looking at Family A’s previous months menu, they go through 1 boxes of cereal each week. If they want a 6 month cereal supply on hand they’ll need to buy 24 boxes of cereal.
How can you afford to buy 24 boxes of cereal?
The first thing to remember about stockpiles is that they are built not bought. A stockpile is filled sale by sale not in one hasty swoop. The goal is to buy what you can only when the items you need are on sale. When cereal is at it’s lowest price, which is $0.75 – $1.20, that when you buy extra. So instead of buying 2 boxes when it’s $4.99, buy 4 or more when it’s $1.20 or less.
The same is true with rice, canned veggies and any other non-perishables.
Why do you want a stockpile?
Once you begin to see your stockpile grow, you can easily get obsessed with “getting a great deal” that you begin to buy things for your stockpile that you don’t need. A good thing to do before you get started is to outline a concise mission statement for your stockpile. You can read mine.
We maintain a stockpile because:
- It saves us money.
- We are prepared in case we were to ever lose our income for any period of time.
- We want to be able to give to any family, friends, neighbors if the need arise.
- We want to be able to donate to our church pantry without overly burdening ourselves.
Once you have reached your stockpile goals you will begin to see your grocery budget dwindle. Once this begins to happen you will be in position to begin allocating that savings to paying off debt or funding your retirement.